I gave blood again today, as I’ve been doing since 1976. I started because my boss at Steak n’ Shake said we could go donate without clocking out, which means I probably got paid $3 for the time it took. Plus, there were free cookies, so I was hooked.
Today's visit was at a local school, where students gave hand-made thank you cards to donors. Although it was crowded today, only about 6 percent of the US population has my blood type, O-, which is the “universal red cell donor,” according to the Red Cross, so I figure I’m pretty likely to save lives every time I donate. And since less than 10 percent of the US population donate blood (some sources say it is closer to 3 percent), like Bob Dylan says, “I guess it must be up to me.”
I’ve never smoked or drank alcohol or used drugs stronger than Certz with Retsyn, and I can answer all those sex questions on the application favorably, so I figure my blood is safe for whoever gets it. How could I not donate?
Like a lot of good things that we know we ought to do, giving blood isn’t always convenient, and there is a measure of pain involved. I mean, when they rip off that tape and it pulls the hairs off your wrist – ouch!